Utility, Advantages and Challenges of Digital Technologies in the Manufacturing Sector
Nadeau S* and Landau K
Journal Title:Ergonomics International Journal
The technological transformations brought on by digital technologies may well make it possible for the manufacturing sector to overcome the challenges of competitiveness and a changing demographic. A literature review of the last six years identified the current uses and purposes of digital technology and its documented benefits and challenges in the manufacturing sector. The value of digital technologies is that they support or enhance human capacities and skills, as well as assist humans in their activities. This can apply to every aspect of manufacturing. The expected impact on production is the improvement of time frames (training, assembly/execution/operations/manufacturing, production idle/downtime, launch), quality, occupational health and safety. Several challenges are reported in the literature as much in terms of cost of investment, as in compatibility of the work or environment, physical and mental workload, risks (reliability, safety, behaviour of the technology) and acceptability (collection and manipulation of confidential data). Digital technologies are bearers of constructive progress. Changes must be carefully planned and humans should be at the heart of considerations. Several questions remain and will need to be addressed with the collaboration of the various work settings.